Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Poison for You

I cannot believe this decision!! Monsanto has won another suit that prohibits us from knowing what is in our food. This only affects Pennsylvania but it is the "camel nose under the tent". Monsanto, in case you don't know, is the corporate villain who fights any information that a chemical-free existence might be the healthy and wise choice. It has brought us such hits as soybeans and corn that produce their own insecticide and myriad other assaults on healthy food. Hello, there is a reason this crap is banned in the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania is stopping dairies from stamping milk containers with hormone-free labels in a precedent-setting decision being closely watched by the industry.

Synthetic hormones have been used to improve milk production in cows for more than a decade. The chemical has not been detected in milk, so there is no way to test for its use, but a growing number of retailers have been selling and promoting hormone-free products in response to consumer demand.

State Agriculture Secretary Dennis C. Wolff said advertising one brand of milk as free from artificial hormones implies that competitors’ milk is not safe, and often comes with what he said is an unjustified higher price.

“It’s kind of like a nuclear arms race,” Wolff said. “One dairy does it and the next tries to outdo them. It’s absolutely crazy.”

Agricultural regulators in at least two other states, New Jersey and Ohio, are considering following suit, the latest battle in a long-standing dispute over whether injecting cows with bovine growth hormone affects milk.

Effective Jan. 1, dairies selling milk in Pennsylvania, the nation’s fifth-largest dairy state, will be banned from advertising on milk containers that their product comes from cows that have never been treated with rBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin.

The product, sold by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. under the brand name Posilac, is the country’s largest-selling dairy pharmaceutical.

It has been approved for use in the U.S. since 1994, although safety concerns have spurred an increase in rBST-free product sales. The hormone is banned in the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan, largely out of concern that it may be harmful to herd health.

Monsanto spokesman Michael Doane said the Pennsylvania labeling restriction is “a landmark decision.”

Monsanto is very experienced at this sort of thing, according to this 7-year-old blog post:

Were improved research techniques responsible for rBGH’s rapid approval? How about a sudden sympathy for the rats? Recombinant bovine growth hormone was approved so quickly simply because employees of Monsanto (namely, Monsanto’s attorney, Michael Taylor) went to work for the FDA, approved the hormone and then went back to work for Monsanto.

Well, just let me know what milk comes from cows injected with rBGH and what milk is “rBGH-free,” and the problem is solved, right? No. Monsanto has a vested interest in making sure you know nothing of the origins of the milk you drink. They’ve fought tooth and nail against rBGH labeling by suing dairy farms that label their milk “rBGH-free.” And Monsanto has been winning. They’ve paid members of Congress to kill bills that would require “rBGH-free” labeling. They’ve even gotten the FDA (read: Michael Taylor) to regulate against “rBGH-free” labeling.

How can it be justified that you do not have a right to know what you eat or drink? Why does the profit and interest of Monsanto outweigh your right to choose the quality of food you eat? This is absolutely insane.

h/t Susie

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